Sapphire Reserve negative changes coming. May be a good thing?


a close up of a credit card

Doctor of Credit reports three changes coming to the Chase Sapphire Reserve card on August 26th 2018:

  • Airport Lounge Access: Priority Pass Select benefit goes from unlimited guests to 2 guests (yourself plus 2 guests)
  • Say goodbye to up to 900 points: The Sapphire Reserve card offers $300 in automatic travel reimbursements each year.  The card also offers 3X rewards for travel & dining.  Currently, the benefits stack together: on your first $300 in travel spend each year, you get $300 back plus 3X points on that $300 in spend (900 points).  As of August 26th, you’ll no longer earn 3X for this $300 in spend.  I consider it still an open question whether you’ll earn 0X or 1X on that spend.  Worst case is that you no longer earn 900 points.  Not a big deal.
  • No more price protection: Doctor of Credit has previously reported that Chase is dropping price protection from all of their cards.  This is just additional confirmation that this change applies to the Sapphire Reserve card as well.

The Priority Pass change is probably the one that will hurt the most for those who regularly travel in groups larger than 3.  For groups of 6 of less, one workaround is to pay $75 a year for an authorized user card which includes it’s own Priority Pass membership.

If you’d prefer to change to a card that still offers unlimited Priority Pass guests, two that come to my mind are the Ritz Carlton Rewards Visa Infinite card and the CNB Crystal Visa Infinite.  The former is a bit of a gamble since it is also a Chase card and so may also drop to 2 guests in the near future.  The CNB card is a better bet, but it’s unfortunately quite difficult to get.

May be a good thing?

We previously reported that Chase has been discussing the idea of eliminating the ability to move points between Ultimate Rewards accounts (see: Leak: Chase may end Ultimate Rewards pooling).  If that happens, it would be a huge blow.  But maybe, just maybe, Chase has decided to cut costs in other ways, such as the changes outlined above.

While none of the expected changes are good in themselves, the chance of keeping point pooling is great.  The ability to move points from no-fee cards (where points are worth a penny each and which earn up to 5 points per dollar) to the Sapphire Reserve (where points are worth 1.5 cents each towards travel, and where points can be transferred to valuable airline and hotel partners) is huge.  And I’m hopeful.

For more about the Sapphire Reserve, see: Chase Sapphire Reserve Complete Guide.

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Does an authorized card used ($75 cost) have the ability to bring two guests in his own right?

[…] I reported that negative changes are coming to the Sapphire Reserve card, but that this might be a good thing.  My hope is that Chase’s slight devaluation of Sapphire Reserve benefits is happening […]


These changes don’t affect me … PP lounge access should be for you and 1 guest anyway. Who needs kids racing around? Last lounge I was in some idiot woman plunked her baby on the cocktail table to play with him. People like this need to be kept outside.

I think some very careful consideration will be given to the Sapphire product by Chase, the perks are almost too generous! I know they’re out to eat AmEx’s lunch, but I do want the Sapphire products to last for long-term. I think we’ll see all kinds of adjustments over the next three years. Like everyone else, I hope they don’t do away with the stuff that I use.


Based on these changes I think I’m going to keep MJ Citi prestige and apply for the sapphire preferred. I was going to apply for the CSR to replace the Prestige but it doesn’t seem like much of an upgrade.


priority pass perk just keeps getting worse…even for just my wife and I, we get turned away from lounges more often than not…whether they are crowded or not…I managed to talk the door/desk person into letting us get a drink or a snack and leave….they must think everyone will camp out for hours and priority pass is low spot on the pissing posts as far as they are concerned…it is basically a worthless perk now that every card has passes for it.

[…] Reserve will allow only 2 guests, just like that offered by many of Chase’s competitors. Frequent Miler looks at the bright side and thinks the devaluation might have spared us from a potentially worse devaluation. According to […]


Regarding points pooling. I have a Freedom 2 Ink’s, a Sapphire Preferred and a CSResrve card. I’ve already moved my Freedom points to my CSR, would you also do all of the Ink’s and the SP? Should I move my wife’s SP points to my CSR?


I thought most people pool their points once a month, when the statement closes.

Its no reason not to.


citi prestige still has the unlimited guest for PP.


I don’t think Prestige is unlimited?


3 I think and there should be Limits for Special People or Fools same ..


Prestige policy is 2 guests OR immediate family. Very reasonable compromise that I wish Chase would have chosen.


Yes, this is good news if you think it is good news when someone only cuts off your foot when they could have cut off your whole leg. And they still have the cleaver!


clever that cleaver. (yet me thinks much…. overdrawn your gruesome analogy is.)

I concur with Greg that this set of modest/minor curtailments portend good news if point pooling is preserved.

Robert F

I’m fine with curtailing benefits that are abused by others. Controls like this are good for the average card holder because money not spent on 19 people entering a Priority Pass lounge all at once can be used to fund the product’s other benefits.


Come on, no one brought 19 family members into a lounge at once. You did have, say, a cardholder with a spouse and two kids who wanted some place to sit before their flight though.


That spouse is more than free to get one of the number of cards that comes with a Priority Pass membership.


PP and price protection changes are good. These are changes that prevent abuse and massively disproportionate costs between cardmembers. However, the 3x change is ridiculous. There is no justification except to be petty and cheap.

I seriously doubt it was either this or end points pooling. It’s coming. They already market CF, CFU, CIC, etc. as “cash back” even though they earn UR. They would justify the change as closing a loophole.


I’m extremely concerned about the rumors of point-pooling’s death, so if this is “it”, as far as negative changes go, this would be *incredibly* good news. And – (with all due apologies to traveling families) – the Priority Pass changes might help reduce lounge overcrowding. And reduce the number of screaming infants in lounges.